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Online Teamwork Mastery: 8 Practical Ways to Excel Together

Ways to boost your team work online
Proven ways to boost the team work online for the remote environment

Exciting news! The era of remote work has arrived! Many companies now fully embrace the idea of allowing their teams to work online from anywhere. While some businesses may have limitations, the trend towards remote work is gaining momentum. Discover how this shift is transforming the modern workplace! Utilize online teamwork to expand your team and your business.

Here are the ways to grow your team work online

Embrace the idea of virtual work

Addressing both leaders and team members, if you opt for remote work, particularly on a full-time basis, fully embrace it. Avoid straddling the line between remote and in-person work. Embrace the opportunities that remote collaboration provides and leverage them to the fullest extent.

Use technology that helps

Not just email and chat tools, because those are a given. Or even the ability to have video and audio calls. You also need good project/task tracking tools. As well as tools to whiteboard and express ideas visually.

Some tools to help with task tracking are things like Asana, Jira, or Trello. All are good examples, and there are more out there as well.

For white boarding, and sharing ideas virtually, some tools like Miro or Figma are good options. This is one of the aspects that suffers the most in the online environment. Teamwork online has to have collaboration tools like these.

As most other aspects of in person collaboration has been replace. But the ability to jot down ideas, and express concepts visually to a group. But also doing that on demand or live. That is something often missing in the remote environment. Make sure to have a tool that handles this to boost your team work online.

Virtual collaboration for great teamwork online needs to consider the following items:

  1. Online collaboration tools
  2. Remote team communication
  3. Virtual team dynamics and tools that promote this
  4. Digital teamwork
  5. Web-based teamwork
  6. Virtual Team Building Activities
  7. Video meetings and virtual happy hours

Communicate goals to help a team work online

Take the time to discuss team goals thoroughly. Ensure that the goals are transparent and logical to everyone. This will significantly contribute to achieving goals successfully.

In virtual work settings, team members have more autonomy. They manage their tasks with minimal supervision. Therefore, with a clearer understanding of their goals, they can align their efforts without constant guidance when questions arise about what to do. Communication skills are absolutely critical and leadership should promote their development.

Ensure processes are clear and understood

Discuss and outline the processes team members need to know to effectively perform their jobs, including the specific responsibilities and timing of tasks. Understanding the flow and roles of processes is crucial as it aids remote team members in anticipating work and knowing when they will receive necessary resources, thus minimizing downtime.

Teamwork online can require different project management. This means good project management practices for virtual work, including the following items:

  • Web-based project management tools
  • Virtual project tracking
  • Remote task assignment
  • Digital project collaboration
  • Managing projects online

Use items like these and more to build up teamwork skills!

Have time set aside to connect about not work

This is a significant factor in facilitating work, but it’s not work-related. To foster effective teamwork online, allocate time for non-work-related interactions. Establish connections and cultivate rapport. This approach significantly contributes to the development of cohesive teams that communicate and collaborate effectively. Don’t forget these virtual team building activities.

This means make sure you take on remote team building exercises. Which includes the following items:

  1. Virtual team bonding activities
  2. Building trust in remote teams
  3. Remote team icebreakers
  4. Strengthening virtual team relationships
  5. Team-building games for online teams

Promote the idea of shared leadership and flattened decision hierarchy

Great teams operate with a more flattened decision-making structure. This allows those closest to the work, with the best understanding of the details, to make the necessary decisions.

This isn’t to suggest excluding others from the process. It’s important to recognize the distinctions between individual decisions, team decisions, and those meant for leadership or another group. Nonetheless, there are numerous decisions that the team is capable of and should be empowered to make. This approach saves time, fosters stronger outcomes, and empowers the team.

For teams working online, the ability to make decisions is so important. For good remote leadership, keep the following in mind:

  • Leading virtual teams
  • Communicating effectively online
  • Remote team leadership strategies
  • Digital leadership skills
  • Building a strong remote team culture

Make sure meetings meet the needs of the team members

Meetings can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, they are necessary for sharing information, discussing, and collaborating. Everyone is working towards common goals and needs meetings to meet their needs. 

But on the other hand, if meetings are held just for the sake of having meetings, without meeting the needs of the team members, engagement will decrease and meeting productivity will suffer.

So, monitor the meetings, keep them essential to avoid hindering teamwork, but also ensure that the meetings meet the needs of the team members, not just the leadership, etc.

To help facilitate effective meetings online, keep the following items in mind:

  • Virtual meeting best practices
  • Running productive online meetings
  • Engaging participants in virtual meetings
  • Remote meeting etiquette
  • Online meeting facilitation

Communicate, communicate, and communicate some more to grow the team work online

Effective communication is crucial in a remote work environment. Since in-person interactions are limited, it’s important to utilize other forms of communication such as stand-up calls, informative but concise messages on chat and email, and meaningful dashboards. The focus should be on sharing important information in a streamlined and useful manner, without getting lost in less meaningful details. This will significantly enhance teamwork in an online setting.

Additional reading that can help increase the team work online

Another great read from the Harvard Business Review on how to make virtual teams work.

The following is a short list of the best virtual team building activities for remote teams and employees.